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Rajasthan continue winning run with 8 wicket hammering of KXIP

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The Rajasthan Royals picked up just their second away win of the IPL this season, but with it catapulted themselves back into second place, giving them every chance of making the play-offs this year. Having put their hosts Kings XI Punjab into bat in Mohali, the Royals restricted them to just 145-6 in their 20 overs, bowling exceptionally well at the death. The Royals chased down the target with relative ease thanks to yet another half-century from Ajinkya Rahane, who made 59, with crucial contributions also coming from Shane Watson and Sanju Samson.

Adam Gilchrist returned for the toss for KXIP, but it was his counterpart Rahul Dravid who won it and decided to bowl first on a pitch that looked a little dry. KXIP brought Bipul Sharma alongwith their captain in place of Luke Pomersbach and Gurkeerat Singh. The Royals made four changes bringing back Dishant Yagnik, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Kevon Cooper for Pravin Tambe, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny and Shaun Tait. Amongst the men sitting out, the unfortunate Stuart Binny had picked up a niggle during his bowling spell in the last game.

Kings XI recovered from losing Mandeep Singh for naught in the first over to add an even hundred for the second wicket with Adam Gilchrist finding some form and giving Shaun Marsh useful company.

Gilchrist added 42 from 32 balls, playing second fiddle to Shaun Marsh, who brought up his half century in 44 deliveries. Gilchrist became the first of Kevon Cooper's three victims, all batsmen falling to the West Indian's change of pace.

Marsh continued to pile on the runs after Gilly's departure and contributed 77 to his team's cause, but got absolutely no support from the other end as no other Punjab batsman got into double figures.

KXIP ended with 145-6, an under par score which one would expect the play-off chasing Rajasthan Royals to hunt down.

The Kings XI made the perfect start with the ball, knocking over Rajasthan's senior statesman Rahul Dravid for 4, with Bipul Sharma bowling a beauty to the veteran. Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson responded by adding 66 for the second wicket in a little more than 8 overs to put the hosts on the backfoot before Piyush Chawla rattled Watson's stumps with a quicker seam up delivery to send the Aussie allrounder back to the hutch with 31 to his name.

Rahane though continued to anchor the innings with elan, and found an excellent partner in young Sanju Samson, who was impressive yet again today, smashing 5 boundaries and a six en route to scoring a 33-ball 47 to help guide his side to victory with an over to spare.

Up next for the Royals is the visit of the table topping Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, while the Kings XI Punjab will hope to embark on a winning streak to give themselves any chance of a final four berth. That quest begins with the visit of the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.


KXIP: A Gilchrist(c&wk), S Marsh, M Singh,  D Hussey(c), D Miller, R Sathish, B Sharma, P Chawla, P Kumar, M Gony, P Awana.

RR: R Dravid(c), A Rahane, S Watson, B Hodge, S Samson, D Yagnik(wk), K Cooper, J Faulkner, A Chandila, S Trivedi, Sreesanth

Mini Scorecard:

Kings XI Punjab  145-6 (20 overs,7.25 )

S Marsh 77(64) K Cooper 3-23

A Gilchrist  42(32) S Watson 1-19

Rajasthan Royals  147-2 (19 overs, 7.73rpo)

A Rahane  59*(49) B Sharma 1-21

S Samson 47*(33) P Chawla 1-27

Rajasthan win by 8 wickets